THE fee for visa on arrival, enjoyed by citizens of 18 countries and Taiwan, will double from Bt1,000 to Bt2,000 with effect from September 27.

Visa on arrival is available at many points of entry and is good for a single use.

The 18 countries are Bulgaria, Bhutan, China, Cyprus, Ethiopia, India, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Maldives, Malta, Mauritius, Romania, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Ukraine, Uzbekistan and Taiwan.

The Foreign Ministry said in its announcement that the decision to hike the charge for this class of visa was based on what Thai embassies and consulates-general are collecting, to make the fee more comparable.

Comparatively low fees

The fees for all kinds of visas to Thailand have been low compared to what Thais have to pay when they go to a foreign country.

There were attempts by previous governments to increase the fee but they were always dropped after running into opposition from the tourism industry.

The foreign ministry’s announcement comes at an inopportune time following the serial bomb and arson attacks in seven provinces a week ago. The targets included tourism destinations. Four people were killed and many wounded.

Following the violence, many foreign holidaymakers have reportedly cancelled their trips to Thailand out of fear of more attacks. Some foreign countries have issued warnings for their citizens planning to travel to Thailand.